Gunman Deters 2 Students In Pursuit of Coop Plunder
Two students gave chase to the Coop bandits this morning but were stymied when a gunman wielded the wrong end of a ".32 or a .36" menacingly at his pursners. They told their story to the CRIMSON in an exclusive interview today.
James A. Harper '46 3GB and Joseph J. Thalhofer '46 were in the store attending to business when the theft occurred. Harper was cashing a check, and Thalhofer was paying a bill.
Business was rudely interrupted however by the explosion of the smoke bomb and the sight of three men rushing headlong for the back "time-clock" door of the establishment.
"Grad That Man"
After shouts of "grab that man" and "stop them" arose, Harper and Thalhofer decided that they were not going to let possible dividends slip away so easily.
So they streaked for the door just as the bandits ran through it. A tug-of-war ensued between the bandits outside and Harper and Thalhofer but finally, the looters abandoned the fight and the students pushed through into the back lot in pursuit.
Then something told Thalhofer that further efforts might not be healthy he backtracked into the Coop, disposing of the second smoke bomb, which had been left at the back door to aid in the escape.
Harper, however, rushed on, while the thieves scooted up Palmer Street toward Church Street, carrying the money-laden bag with them.
Suddenly, one of the men stopped short, whirled, and poked a revolver through the wire fence, shouting threats to Harper, who had come to a sudden halt in the face of possible gunfire.
The gunman ordered Harper to clear out, and Harper followed suit by running out the back gate and thence down Palmer Street toward Brattle.
The bandits streaked up toward their getaway car and escape, while Harper made a safe and quiet return to the building.
Once in the Coop both Harper and Thalhofer were besieged by police, detectives, and store officials, who wanted descriptions of the bandits.
After giving all possible information, however, the two students were ready to forget the whole incident.
"It only took about a minute, from start to finish," Harper remarked today, "It wasn't much of anything at all."
When police asked them to come down to headquarters to try and identify the bandits from the morgue, the pursuers begged off claiming that impending examinations deserved their time.
Orange marks from the smoke shell, which Thalhofer pushed out the door, remained in the snow in the back yard, in addition to remains of the bomb.